Strong opposition

A Mason, Constantia

As a result of the Bulletin’s article (“Have your say on drought levy,” Bulletin January 11) I have forwarded to you my email to council.

We strongly oppose the imposition of a drought levy for the reasons set out below and support the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance’s proposal that the City should, among other things, access the R1bn “green bond” it launched in September last year and trim councillors’ trappings of office to address the severe water shortage.

It is our opinion that the City council should have acted responsibly and much, much sooner to deal with the water crisis.

An example of the council’s lack of positive action even now is that there was a severe leak due to a fractured 400mm mains pipe in Spaanschemat River Road a few weeks ago, which was reported to the council and to Liz Brunette and no action was taken for 10 days

This lack of response resulted in millions of litres of potable water being wasted.

The reporting is a matter of record having been carried out by telephone and email by Mr and Ms Hay, whose garden was severely flooded as it backs onto Spaanschemat River Road.

Before imposing any levy, the City council owes us, the ratepayers, verifiable evidence/answers to the following:

* What, if any, action was taken following the last drought in, if my memory serves me correctly, 2007/8? We recall the council then saying that they would be taking action to try to prevent a similar situation in the future.

* How many of those who have flouted the restrictions have been prosecuted or fined, or had other action taken against them?

* How many “water management devices” have actually been fitted to date? We recall the council, when restrictions were first introduced, announcing a target of fitting 2 000 per week/month. It has been reported that to date only 2 000 devices have been fitted.

* Why should those ratepayers who have acted responsibly, and at their own cost installed water saving measures, and achieved the restriction targets, be penalised to the same level as those who have either ignored or made little effort to meet the restriction targets of less than 87 litres per person per day. We have made every effort and met the restriction targets.

To add insult to injury, our December rates bill contained a charge for a meter that is not ours. The result of this is that we will now have to spend a great deal of time at the council offices in Plumstead to sort this out.